Durham Cathedral offers the unique opportunity to see its ten historic bells up close and allows you to get a fascinating insight into the strange and secret world of bellringing.
Once a year, usually on the last Saturday of October, the ringing chamber and belfry is open to the public. It is rare for such iconic cathedrals to offer this experience, and Durham Cathedral is fortunate to have excellent access to the bells: you can safely stand only a few feet away from the bells while they are rung. Normal tower admission costs apply, but all the rest comes at no extra cost!
There's much more to the English Art of Change Ringing than most people realise (read our quick description here), and we will try and give an overview of this during the open day. We'll cover the history of ringing and the history of the bells at Durham Cathedral, as well as an explanation of what ringing involves and how it's done. There'll be plenty of experienced ringers on-hand to answer any questions, and you'll get to see (and hear!) a demonstration on all ten bells. Then you'll have the chance to go into the belfry and see the actual bells and watch them ring (ear plugs provided!)
Finally, you can carry on up to the roof and admire the view of Durham, and maybe even hear the bells pealing out from underneath you. An experience not to be missed!
The date and start times will be listed above when they're confirmed. You can enter the Cathedral through the main entrance on Palace Green, then make your way to the South Trancept. You'll see the entrance to the tower in the corner. There are over 200 steps to the Ringing Chamber!
Any questions, please get in touch.